More Stores Opening at The Marketplace at El Paseo

ABC 30 News – March 20, 2014

FRESNO, California (KFSN) — More stores are opening their doors at The Marketplace at El Pasaeo shopping center in Northwest Fresno.Thursday morning, dozens of shoppers lined up to be amongst the first at Marshall’s in The Marketplace at El Paseo.

“I think it’s wonderful,” said Madera resident Phyllis Scott. “I can’t wait until they are all open.”

Fresno resident Brianna Rosales “I’m a big Marshalls fan, TJ Maxx, so it’s really exciting for them to bring this out here. Especially since we’re not even literally two minutes away.”
People from across the Valley have been stopping by the center. Council Member Steve Brandau says that’s positive economic news.

Brandau explained, “We get to grab some travelers moving up and down 99 and so we’ll get to grab some tax dollars and help with some essential services in the city of Fresno.”

However, two of the businesses in the new shopping center, Old Navy and Famous Footwear, closed up their other northwest locations off Shaw and Brawley.

“So they’re really just following a demographic and the people are demanding things out here, so they’re providing them,” said Brandau. “So I’m hoping that other stores will likewise fill the vacancies that some of these had left.”

Along Shaw and Brawley, there are a variety of stores for lease. Commercial real estate expert Larry Fortune says the impact from those vacancies is usually short term.

Fortune explained, “But west Shaw market is I think, a healthy, it’s going to be a major arterial traffic street in Fresno for years to come, so I don’t think it will affect west Shaw Avenue much at all. The town’s expanding, there’s going to be new shopping center.”

Fortune says it takes time to fill those businesses, but he points to the future expansion of Walmart into the nearby and empty Dan Gamel Camp America building as a sign that it can be done. Overall he says Fresno is expanding and so are its shopping options.

Local leaders say the new shopping development is already attracting customers and they expect even more as housing is built.